Impactful science teaching requires minimum five hours instruction weekly

Credit: CC0 Public Domain

New research on middle-grades science teaching reveals that without at least 5 hours of instructional time dedicated to science during a typical school week, teachers are less likely to use the types of inquiry-based learning practices recommended by leading science and education professionals.

Unlike traditional instruction, inquiry-based instruction approaches science learning through sustained real-world projects and hands-on experimentation rather than fact memorization, recall and prescribed experiments. It is considered a best practice by the National Research Council and the Next Generation for Science Standards, among other national and state science assessments, for teaching scientific knowledge and skills for the 21st century.

What’s more, the findings—published Dec. 1, 2020 in the journal Teachers College Record—suggest that only about one third of eighth-grade students in the U.S. actually receive at least 5 hours of science instruction each week.

“Even the best teachers are less likely to teach

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Fighting anti-Semitism online requires a global effort

Given the state of global affairs, it is not a given that we — a bipartisan group of elected officials from Israel, the US, Canada, Australia and the UK — would find common ground in the midst of a global pandemic. However, the disconcerting proliferation of anti-Semitism through new technology demands that we take urgent action.

a group of people on a newspaper: People gather for a demonstration organized by the Campaign Against Antisemitism outside the head office of the British opposition Labour Party in central London on April 8, 2018.

© Tolga Akmen/AFP/Getty Images
People gather for a demonstration organized by the Campaign Against Antisemitism outside the head office of the British opposition Labour Party in central London on April 8, 2018.

We recently launched the Inter-Parliamentary Task Force to Combat Online Antisemitism in order to hold social media companies accountable for what takes place on their platforms and help create transparent policies to tackle hate speech.

The hate that we see online isn’t just harmless chatter relegated to dark corners of the internet — it often spills onto the streets, and dangerous

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Trade In Advanced Technology Requires Strategic Trade Control By Like-Minded Nations

Many modern technologies can also be weapons of war and destruction. In World Wars I and II, Germany used technology in wind-up toys to engineer mobile, self-detonating bombs. Household cleaners and detergents have fueled chemical attacks.  What is to stop the advanced imaging technology in a PlayStation to be appropriated for a missile guidance system? How about cyber-warfare software, sub-orbital aerospace vehicles, technology to produce high-end integrated circuits, hybrid machine tools, and lithography equipment? These among 1000 other technologies are subject to controls under the Wassenaar Agreement On Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies.

Nations have coordinated on strategic trade control for decades for the simple reason that they don’t want technologies and weapons to be used in unintended

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Georgia Requires Signature Matching On Mail-In Ballots, But The Science Is Dubious

With razor thin margins in the presidential election in Georgia and Arizona, election officials are closely scrutinizing every ballot. When the dust settles, there will be some number of American citizens whose votes are thrown out due to mismatched signatures on mail-in ballots—which could have implications for any potential recount. That’s because those states, along with 29 others in the country, depend on signature matching verification, according to the Campaign Legal Center. It’s a subjective task performed by humans to determine whether a ballot can be processed, even though a range of factors, including health disorders and technology, could affect a person’s signature. 

While Georgia and Arizona allow for ballot “curing,” meaning voters whose signatures didn’t match are contacted and have a chance to fix any issues, the three-day and

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Tackling alarming decline in nature requires ‘safety net’ of multiple, ambitious goals — ScienceDaily

A “safety net” made up of multiple ambitious and interlinked goals is needed to tackle nature’s alarming decline, according to an international team of researchers analyzing the new goals for biodiversity being drafted by the UN’s Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).

The scientific advice comes at a critical time: The CBD recently announced that none of its 20 biodiversity targets for 2020, which were set in 2010, has been fully reached. Policymakers, scientists and other experts are now preparing for the next generation of biodiversity goals, which will be unveiled at the CBD’s Convention of the Parties in 2021.

“To curb the many threats to our biological world, we need biodiversity targets that are distinct, manifold and appreciate different facets of biodiversity,” Amy Zanne, associate professor of biological sciences at the George Washington University and a member of the international team of researchers who analyzed the new biodiversity goals, said.

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